Tulip Fever, a classic period piece

Ian Murdock
Special to the Village News

With a renowned cast and one of exceptional talent, my expectations for this film were extraordinarily high. A pure love story and triangle – and, thus, clearly not a film that all will enjoy – Tulip Fever, a wonderfully crafted period piece set in the seventeenth century, heats up the screen with not only refreshing and moving acting performances by all the leading and minor characters, but also produces a convincing finale, avoiding a typical “fairy tale ending” and instead delivering one that reflects genuine, and real, human flaws and strengths.

The film takes a bit too long to clearly define the main story line, but when this finally transpires, the viewer is completely engrossed. While portraying many typical elements of a Hollywood love triangle – and at times parts that seem to defy genuinely plausible scenarios – nevertheless, the delivery, the setting, cinematography and costumes lead to not only an uplifting outcome, but one that reflects the true spirit of coming to terms with one’s actions, and ultimately the consequences that ensue.

Moreover, what renders the film exceptional and transcends some of the previous flaws noted are the truly special acting performances across the board – from Christopher Waltz, Alicia Vikander, Dane Dehaan, Holiday Grainger, Jack Oconnell and Judy Dench. Their renditions are magnificent, covering many facets of human need and frailty.

Hollywood could have made this story’s ending completely “hokey” or contentious in nature, but instead, they let genuine emotion and miscalculation – which by the way is the way life works – dictate the ending. While resolving some issues and leaving others to the imagination, the writer presents what all individuals deal with, the unknown.

The writer also manages to mix in laugh-out-loud moments – an exceptional feat, considering the otherwise heavy theme that dominates a majority of the film.

Most review headlines I have seen – while choosing never to read entire reviews before writing mine – have absolutely berated this film.  Thus, as is often the case, this film will likely get little, or no, acclaim – other than from me.

While not an Oscar worthy film, this is a must see, if you enjoy “pure love stories.”

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